Cuisine sans frontieres staged a charity event at the Rote Fabrik. Dubbed the 1st Kitchen Battle, teams from different restaurants competed against each other in a cook-off. Each team was given a basket of food and asked to cook for a hundred people, serving an appetizer, a main course and dessert. The first night had a thrillling headliner – the brigade of the very renowed Rigiblick (Michelin Star, 16 Gault Millau points) versus the motely crew of the Ziegel Oh Lac, the collective cooking at Rote Fabrik. The winner was determined by tallying points from a jury (involving a filmmaker, two cooks, a psychiatrist and a restaurant owner) and the crowd to determine the winner. Having dined at both restaurants I was excited to attend this event and gladly forked over my 100 CHF. The whole amount went to CSF, since all the expenses of the event were covered by sponsors, including the cooking brigades (Thanks Rigiblick and Ziegel). In all fairness I was expecting a clean sweep of the Rigiblick team. Four mean cooks, trained under a hard Michelin starred regimes against four individuals (not all of them trained cooks) sounded like a couple of sheep going against the big bad wolf. Taking into account my fondness of complex and complicated dishes, I was leaning back and expecting soulful, decent simple dishes against visually stunning artwork from the masters of Rigiblick. Rigiblick served two types of salmon one slightly heated and on top of mediterranean aromas (capers, olives, …). Ziegel served cooked salmon with apples on top of mushrooms and a tartare wrapped in cabagge. I favored Ziegel. Putting a bit of salmon on a mushroom and sprinkling it with a bit of apple, made this a very nice bite. The acidity of the apple bounced nicely of the fish and the texture of the mushroom made this a nice triad. Rigiblick’s salmon was just a tad too bland and was overpowered by the very strong mediterranean flavours. With the main course Rigiblick was back on course. Both ragouts and pieces of pork were nice, but Ziegel had a fried potato roesti/cake which was dripping with fat and really ruined the dish, even the nice star anise sauce couldn’t rescue it. Rigiblick scored points with a lovely chip and a nice cabbage and pumpkin cake on the side, equalising the overall score. Dessert again was taken by the crew from Rigiblick. Ziegel had too much puff pastry, making it heavy while Rigiblick aced with Strudel and chocolate espuma. I was very surprised with the concentrated and strong effort made by Ziegel, Rigiblick was seriously challenged but still managed to come out atop in my book. Interesting side note was, that the jury unanimously had Ziegel and the crowd unanimously had Rigiblick winning. Since the crowd had the final say, Rigiblick came out on top. The Kitchen Battle was a great event, the idea of having two teams go head to head with the crowd getting to judge each course was entertaining. Both teams gave it all they had and I’d really like to commend Ziegel for giving the Rigiblick a run for their money. Only strange thing was the jury, which kind of went overboard like the skinny cook ranting about the perversity of celebrating food, the guy should have been more useful washing the dishes, instead of lecturing us on the stage.